De La Soul

De La Soul

I don’t usually do the big, summer concert festival type of events…because I can never afford it (Thanks, J).  But with this line up, I’m glad I didn’t miss it.  Now the easiest way to do this is to go act by act.  At the end of each section, I’ll comment on songs/things that I wish they would have done differently.

Doors, Jay Electronica, Murs, Wale – Originally we were going to get there around noon, to catch Murs.  There was really nothing that peaked our interest after that until Kidz in the Hall on the second stage (more on that below).  So we missed all these, sorry people.

Dead Prez – As we were walking in, we figured we could get in for the end of the Dead Prez set, because really, we just want to here “Hip Hop“.  But as we walk in, we hear the song blasting.  (Fernando turns to Jason) “Are they opening with ‘Hip Hop’!?!?!?” “Yea, so people know who they are.”  We came in and got situated during their set and besides “Mind Sex“, I really didn’t recognize a single song.  But it was cool.
– Wish they would have closed with Hip Hop so I could have seen it live.

Immortal Technique, Rakim – I have to Immortal Tech albums and he is aight.  I saw him live at Tigerfest at Towson, so I wasn’t really hype to see him.  Plus, he really doesn’t have much stage presence.  But I love when he goes “Fuck the POLICE (crowd roars)…and I know there’s someone out there going ‘my dad’s a cop’…FUCK YO DAD NIGGA!!!!”  Always makes me laugh.  We didn’t see any of Rakim, not a huge fan, plus we wanted to see Kidz on the Second Stage.
-Would have been nice to see Rakim, just to say I saw him live.

Second Stage – So we head to the second stage to see some Kidz in the Hall.  DJ Blaqstarr is spinning some Bmore club.  WHITE PEOPLE DANCING IS HILARIOUS!!!!!  You guys are just all over the place.  I know I’ll get shit from Lauren for this, put hey, you guys just dance funny.  So after about half an hour we start wondering where Kidz in the Hall are.  After about 50 minutes, we finally ask the sound guy, he informed us they weren’t there.  BLOWER.
(Note: we later found out Kidz had an altercation the night before in Tempe, AZ.  One of them was under arrest and the other was in the hospital.  Now I know what your thinking, “rapper beef (lol)”.  But something had to be up because Kidz isn’t that kind of group.  Best to both Naledge and Double O).
-Wish Kidz made it, but white people entertained us.

Ghostface and Raekwon – On the way to the show, our friend and driver of nice B.M.DUB we were riding in, Kelly, was blasting Wu Tang.  Her only caveat when we arrived was “IM NOT MISSING RAE AND GHOST”.  They (Ron, Jason’s Brother, Kim, Ron’s Girlfriend, and Kelly) had left the second stage before us to catch Ghost and Rae.  I’ve never been a big Wu fan, so must of them shits went over my head.  They were aight, they seemed to get the crowd hype.  Apollo Kids “crashing high speed, strawberry kiwi “but Ghost only did the first verse.  Also glad Ghost did “Run“, I had completely forgot about that joint.
-Wish they would have done “Verbal Intercourse“(since Nas was there) and “Buck 50” (since Red and Meth were there)

De La Soul – THE SINGLE GREATEST LIVE SHOW. PERIOD.  Now, I know a lot of you are saying “what about ( insert white band I’ve never heard of here (Phish, Grateful Dead, The Who, Led Zeppelin)), well FUCK ‘EM.  This is my blog, I’ll say what I want.  Now, I know a lot of you Hip Hop heads are going “What about Busta or The Roots, maybe even Diddy?”.  I’ve never been a huge fan of Busta or Diddy and never seen them live, so FUCK ‘EM, my blog blah blah blah.  The Roots are dope live, but the last few times I’ve seen them, they weren’t that good.  They have fallen off some.  I have seen De La twice now ( I wanna say 3 times but I don’t know/can’t remember the other time).  The first time was like a 15 minute set, where they got squeezed in to the end of the night.  I didn’t know a single De La Soul song outside of the singles.  They didn’t even play the singles I knew and I was still hype, jumping up and down, captivated by the stage presence and energy they brought to like the 30 people that stayed to see them.

To prove their greatness even more, I have since bought one of their albums (The Grind Date) and illegally downloaded their “classics” (3 Feet High and Rising and De La Soul is Dead).  I haven’t finished the two classics, but from what I heard, it wasn’t all that.  The Grind Date though is an amazing, well put together album.  So for the record, I either don’t know or don’t like most of their catalog.

AND THEY STILL HAD ME ROCKING TO SONGS I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW OR PARTICULARLY LIKE!!!!!.  I can’t name most of the songs they did, but the presentation was amazing.  Using the whole stage, the DJ coming out from behind the turntables and rocking the mic, jumping around and just having fun.  Highlight number one came when they did “Buddy” and half way through the song, Q-Tip came out and did his verse.  THAT IS SO FUCKING LOGICAL IT MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE.  The whole crowd went bananas and just showed their camaraderie between the groups (Take notes everyone else on the tour who have guest appearances on each other’s albums).

Highlight number 2 was the end of the show, when they did my favorite De La Song, “Rock Co. Kane Flow”.  It was almost like sex (Fernando fears he has now lost half the readers).  LIke, when your having sex and you keep teasing the other person, giving them a little and then stopping.  Then a little more, and stopping again.  Yea, thats how they performed “Rock Co. Kane Flow“.  Pos did the first verse 3 times, stopping after each time, every member would freeze for about 5 seconds too long and the beat would kick back in.  My words don’t do it justice.  De La Soul tickets are cheap, do yourself a favor when they are in your town, drop those $20 and go see them.
-Wish they would have played Ego Trippin’ instead of teasing it so J would stop going “Yo, they didn’t play Ego Trippin’.  Also wish the set was longer.

(Note: After De La’s amazing set, they decided to throw Jay Electronica out there and he was wack.  He tried every rapper gimmick known to man to get the crowd hype (call and response, playing someone else’s song, doing a verse accapella,) straight pandering to the audience.  It was wack and sad.)

Method Man and Redman – I listened to the Blackout album once, way back when, really didn’t like it.  They started out kinda slow but it picked up.  Then they brought out some protege’s to do some tracks and be hype men.  Jason: “Why does a group like Red and Meth need a hype men?”  Good point.  They did all the hits: “I’ll Bee Dat“, “Your All I Need to Get By“, “How High“.  My favorite part was me, Jason and Ron changing the words to “Method Man” to “C-H-E-E-S-E MAN, C-H-E-E-S-E MAN“.  I hope he isn’t bitter about that.  They ended the set with “Da Rockwilder” which was only appropriate.  Red and Meth are pretty wild on stage, throwing water into the crowd, crowd surfing and all those shenanigans.  During “Da Rockwilder”, Meth stood on the hands of the people in the front row.  Entertaining shit.
-Wish Meth would have did his verse from “The What” and that Red would have brought a girl on a bike out and have her crash on a car.

The Pharcyde – Very text book set, not bad but the middle needs work.  They opened with their second biggest hit (“Runnin’“) and closed with their biggest hit (“Passin’ Me By“).  Both were dope to hear live and got me and the crowd going.  Now in the middle they did some weird shit.  First they didn’t play “Drop“, not even a hint of it.  They played other cuts from “Bizarre Ride” and “Labcabincalifornia” but nothing really stood out.  Then, they started doing solo cuts from albums nobody bought (though I did enjoy hearing “What’s up Fat Lip” and who know Bootie Brown was the dude on “Dirty Harry“?).  Outside of “Ya Mama“, the middle of the set wasn’t anything to write home about.
-Wish they would have done “Otha Fish” and Fat Lip gets help for whatever substance abuse problem he has, he did not look right.

Mos Def – I think Mos decides about 5 minutes before the show what he is gonna do.  It’s like he just plays what he wants, and sometimes its not even his own music.  But after a while we could see there was a method to his madness (this time).  He played about 4 reggae tracks before going into “Definition” (Yes Darnay, “Definition” not “Re:Definition”).  He played “One Step Ahead” before going into “Ms. Fat Booty“.  I did cuts from the big 3: Blackstarr (“Respiration“), Black on Both Sides (“New World Water“) and The New Danger (“Ghetto Rock“, “Boogie Man“).  He even did Travellin’ Man, TRAVELLIN MAN!!! Never seen him do it live, that was the highlight for me.
-No “Mathematics“? No “Sunshine“? Wish Q-Tip would have came out and done the chorus to “Mr. Nigga” with him.

Nas – I can now cross another legend off the list.  Outside of Jay-Z and Eminem, there is no one else I really wanted to see live before I died.  He started out with his new single, don’t have the album yet so can’t remember what it is.  He quickly went back to ’94 doing “New York State of Mind“, “Represent“, “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” and “Life’s A Bitch“, because, you know, he had to.

Jason: “Yo, he need a hype man. He’s not getting all the words.”
Fernando: “Yo, these are straight classics, he doesn’t need a hype man” (Points to crowd reciting every single word)
He did 3 or 4 cuts from his new album, notably “Sly Fox” and “Black President“.  He did the chorus to “I Want to Talk to You” before “Black President”; that joint sent me back to my high school days.  I’m glad he did “Nastradamus” and “Hate me Now” even though that period in his career isn’t that well regarded.  After that he went into “Made You Look“, 2 words: BRAAAAAAAAAAVEHEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARTS, BRAAAAAAAAAAVEHEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAARTS.  He ended the set with “One Mic” which was a perfect way to keep the crowd hype and then bring it down for the end.
-I know you and Jay are cool now, but I needed “Ether“.  That shit would have been bonkers.

A Tribe Called Quest – After about 20-30 minutes of “technical difficulties” (Jason: “See, Tip already came out so we know he’s here.” lol), Q-Tip came out and did his solo thing.  Mos came out to accompany him rocking a shirt that said “Moses was Black” (after about 10 minutes we realized it said “Malone” on the upper back of the shirt).  Tip did his 2 hits (“Vivrant Thing“, “Breathe and Stop“), his other single from Amplified (“Let’s Ride“), some Tribe cuts (Most notably, “Suck Niggas“, again, I wish Mos would have dropped a verse from “Mr. Nigga” at this opportune time). and his new single.
He ended his verse in pitch blackness with his back to the crowd.  “Buggin’ Out” started and Phife and Jarobi came out.  Much like the De La set, I didn’t know too many of the song but was into it anyway.  They hit the classics (“Electric Relaxation“, “Bonita Applebaum“, “Can I Kick It“).  When they performed “Lyrics to Go” Tip had a shirt on with his verse, and would point to the back of it when the chorus came around.  Me being a marginal Tribe fan, I was waiting for “Scenario”, the show closing beast that it is.  When it came on, I was pumped and figured we had come to the end.  AND THEN THEY DID “AWARD TOUR“!!!!!  The balls it took to not close with “Scenario” but then they go into arguably my favorite Tribe song?!?!!? Crazy.  They closed the show with “Check the Rhime” which got the crowd hype.
-No Ali Shaheed Muhammad? I know he’s just the DJ but still.  And I would have liked more cuts from Beats, Rhymes and Life, “Stressed Out” anyone?

From top to bottom, the best concert I’ve been to.  Like I said, I usually don’t do the big venue concerts with a massive lineup, so it was nice to have a concert with: 1) a massive line up, 2) a bunch of legends in the game 3) almost everyone delivering.  Most hip hop acts don’t use the stage, just standing in one place with 50 niggas on stage.  Tribe, Red and Meth and especially De La Soul, have honed their acts over the year to give the audience the most.

Ok, on 3 everyone.

1,2,3 PEACE

1,2,3 PEACE

1,2,3 PEACE

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